MAYVILLE - Chautauqua Lake Central School student leaders in the Sources of Strength wellness program continue to support several classmates who have been out of school most of the school year due to long term illnesses. Acting on a suggestion from teaching assistant Karin Shearer, the student organization purchased three large fleece blankets for these young people, whose courage and patience inspire their classmates. Secondary school students signed each blanket, adding words of support. Teachers and administrators were also invited to participate.
Sources of Strength is a comprehensive wellness program that uses peer leaders to change norms around codes of silence and help seeking, building multiple sources of support so when times get hard students have strengths to rely on. The pilot program, developed by the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Rochester, is part of a two-year study to combat bullying and youth suicide in high schools in New York state and in North Dakota. The Sources of Strength advisors at Chautauqua Lake Central School are teacher Steven Johnston and Principal Josh Liddell.
Shown with the finished blankets, ready for delivery over spring break, are, from left, Abbey Jantzi, Alan Christie and Ray Fortney.